RICHMOND, Virginia (PNN) - January 14, 2020 - Democrats might wield power in the Old Dominion, but gun rights backers haven’t given up the fight.
As lawmakers met Monday to consider a slew of gun control bills, they were greeted by thousands of Second Amendment supporters determined to voice their opposition.
Even in the face of that kind of popular discontent, four measures moved forward in the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee, thanks to a Democrat majority, though some were in slightly weakened form.
But one bill, known as SB 16, a controversial measure that would have effectively allowed authorities to confiscate weapons that violate it, was withdrawn entirely.
It was the potential of people power on full display.
“We are beyond impressed by today’s turnout,” said D.J. Spiker, Virginia state director for the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action.
“You can see the passion and enthusiasm that the citizens of Virginia have in joining us in this fight,” Spiker said.
It’s a fight that’s been building since the fall’s elections put both houses of the state legislature in Democrat hands, along with the governor’s office, which Democrat Ralph Northam won in 2017.
In response to ambitious Democrat plans to proceed with gun control measures, Second Amendment supporters have mobilized throughout the state, with individual jurisdictions declaring themselves to be sanctuaries for Second Amendment rights.
But with the legislature in session, the conflict is being concentrated in the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond.
Gun rights supporters made it clear they aren’t backing down.